Not all those who wander are lost

Dearest Odyssians,
Please enjoy these incredible iphone art creations by Ali Jardine.





“Not all that glitters is gold. Not all who wander are lost” – Tolkien.

“Never stop dreaming!” – odysseus.

“ditto ” – odie mama.

O and om.

To see more amazing art by Ali Jardine please visit her Instagram page:

A Piece of Me

A photo posted by Ali Jardine (@alijardine) on

Dawn and DNA: New beginnings in November

Dearest Odyssians,

Earth Magic Oracle Tarot by – Steven D. Farmer – See below for your very own card readings :)

‘Tis time for a fresh start!!

We love this tarot card. It says the light of our universe is always dawning, we just need the occasional (gentle) nudge that reminds us to relax and let it in. Each day is a new chance to tidy up the cozy, yet cluttered, space in our earthly minds and make way for more blessings from above – to  absorb all of God’s glorious sunshine.

A reminder like this is especially needed now that the days are getting shorter (for us northern hemisphere folk) and growing colder with winter’s eminent arrival. Brrrrr….. I’m already wearing winter boots, hats, scarves, and onesie jumpsuits over my usual layers, and I’m not even outside. Soon the gloves and balaclavas are coming out of storage and I’ll be praying for the balmy 20 degree F. day like the one we’ve had today.

It’s clear I’m not a winter person. Odie isn’t either. With nary a hair to keep his torpedo-shaped body warm – he too will have to don the winter gear he so hates to wear. Note to everyone: hairless cats like to be naked, at all times. He doesn’t know it yet, and I’m not about to tell him, but in prep for a much colder December I’ve run to the pet store and gotten him a super fuzzy camo hoodie that will look great on him. I’ll do the big reveal when it dips below 15F outside. The final month of 2015 will bring those Temps sooner than later.

Still, I’m more than glad November’s passing fast and December is rumbling our way like an unstoppable freight train carrying ice storms and frostbite with it. About a week ago my November took a swift nose dive to the dark side. Between family (arguing), work (starting it again), and the dreaded agent letters I need to sell my book (not being up to my standards of perfection), things weren’t falling into place like they usually do. I felt miserable. Thankfully, I’m starting to feel like the darkness of this month lifting. I’m happy to be back at work. I’ve resolved the issues on my homefront. I’ve found the courage to work on agent letter revisions.  Even better? November isn’t over yet. This month could close out with a positive check mark next to it after all. A girl can dream.

I confess, holidays always prove to be a time of deep contemplation mixed with whys, what ifs and could haves for me. No other time of year burdens me with such introspective hardships. Let it be known,  I didn’t grow up with the Mansons or that Texan Chainsaw Leatherface bunch, but I still feel my folks and I could get along a hell of a lot better. Wouldn’t it be nice if the group of us could grab hot cocoas with extra whipped cream on top, and snuggle in around the roaring fire to twitter away our hours in deep conversations about how much we love and have missed each other?

Yep.  It would.

But it isn’t going to happen. And I’m the only one who isn’t  lactose-intolerant.

I used to wish it and dream it were true, and then cry about it not being true. Why can’t we all get along splendidly? But…. (I hope) I’ve finally gotten to the age where I’ve resigned myself to be who I am (which my parents don’t always think is quote/unquote ‘awesome’) and I am resigned to love and fully accept my parents for who they are – lovely, interesting/weird, and flawed…. aka, human – just like me.

Acceptance for family can feel like a grand defeat at first, especially in our family. We’re a group that loves to argue while famously choosing our battles wisely – because we like to win them. All of them. It’s made for some ‘heated’ breakfast/lunch/dinner conversations.

Figuring out that family can’t be reasoned with (or changed through discussion and arguing) seemed like a losing prospect until I was able to wrap my mind around the pros and cons of reality.

“It is what it is.” – Life.

Now I’m resigned to drinking cocoa by myself and having Odie tell me how amazing a mom I am. And that’s good enough. My job is to be respectful and safely distant from my folks, while watching those who created me in a passionate evening before a fireplace more than thirty years ago tend to their own wants and needs in old age – no bearskin rugs, no cocoa with whipped cream, no wasting away the hours in loving, sweet nothings about how great we are together as a clan. Also, there aren’t any chainsaws, shotguns or severed heads rolling about the dinner table. I can smile about that.

We aren’t a family in perfect alignment, but we aren’t the Lannisters from G.O.T. either.

That means we’ve never sat down to wrestle ourselves into a cohesive unit, hungry for world dominance, that will take over the rest of empire one generation at a time. I was never gifted the family business or given talks about how to make the most of stock options and my inheritance to preserve our name and dynasty. It also means I’ve never been asked to enter a treaty with an enemy against my will, or go to war with my neighbors over a land grab disguised as some ancient blood feud. Actually I’ve never been asked to do anything against my will for that matter. My folks have let me be and continue to let me be. Now I am learning to do the same for them.

“It is what it isn’t.” – Life, plus experience.

That, in and of itself, is a revelation as bright as any morning sunshine, winter or summer.


♡ o and om



*** This amazing tarot deck is by Steven D. Farmer. To get your own card readings click the links below.



Steven Farmer also other decks and readings that may be of interest:

Here is his site:


This is the amazing single card reading I pulled directly after posting this blog:

dna card.png

And it’s meaning:


DNA – Karma

While the DNA that you inherited from your biological parents has a physical component, it also has a soul pattern that came together in the creation of “you.” You are predisposed to follow the karmic dictates of this patterning to some extent, yet as you evolve in your consciousness, you can make choices that shift and modify this ancestral design This is one of those times. You can feel the tug of your soul that is both ancient and karmic, yet you also recognize the persistent and loving communication from your Higher Self that contradicts the more familiar solutions before you. The choice is up to you.

– Stephen D. Farmer

How’s that for spot on!!

Dear Book : A Love Letter From An Author To Her Unpublished Novel

Dear Book,

magic book via eyesofodysseus

Though no lit. agent has asked to see more of you, though no publisher has picked you up for printing, though you haven’t landed us on a single bestseller list or won us any awards (because I’ve just started pitching you to agents and you can’t be found online, or in a store, or anywhere else in print) … you’ve achieved marvelous things already. And I’m writing this letter to share my gratitude for those accomplishments. So Buckle your pages, sit back, and enjoy the stellar praise from the person that created you!!

  1. You gave me purpose. How’s that for starters?? I wasn’t sure I could be a writer. True, I knew I liked to write, but the writing I’d done before I sat down to write you didn’t fill all the elements of my soul so completely and wonderfully as writing you did. Thank you for allowing me to find me, and allowing me to be me – in more harmonious fashion. Took us a year and a half to make you complete, but the rewards reaped from writing you have been blessings only you could have bestowed upon me. Thank you!
  2. You taught me I CAN finish something! As my long, horrible track record of unfinished work shows: I’d never finished any project until I took you on – and wrote you right til the end. Through revision after revision, you nagged at my brain noodle and begged me to make you whole/better. For some crazy reason, I accepted your challenge, probably because you believed I could do so without f***ing you up. I’m still not sure why you trusted me. Every time I sat down to “improve you”, I wasn’t sure if that’s what was I was doing, or if I was overworking you to a point of phony pretension. Why worry? I didn’t want to destroy everything awesome you stood for in your rough draft form. I didn’t want to jumble the plot, add too much where unnecessary or cut out the great bits that made you You. Somehow, you allowed me, an unproven amateur, to write you to completion. The good news is I think we struck the right balance between edited and instinctual writing due to our sessions together. Bravo Book, bravo – for trusting me and letting me finally prove myself as an author that can finish something, Aka, you.
    **** More edits are coming. This counts as fair warning.
  3. Thank you for teaching me that with patience, pain, perseverance, and a lot of elbow grease (plus minimal moments of joy) that I can suffer through what it means to be an artist and still call art my passion. Untested passions walk a tightrope of existence within their carriers, with their carriers always fearing the day that their passions will break or be extinguish by testing.
    Now I get why artists say that only those willing to suffer through their art and come out on the other side have felt the artist experience.
    How I still love writing, and call it my calling after all the times I swore I hated it, is only because I never hated writing You enough to quit You. I thought about it, sure – All the damn time. But now I can wear my artist badge proudly because I’ve survived the fires of suffering for you.
    What suffering you ask? Childbirth isn’t pain free = You weren’t easy to write. As you well know, You are complex and varied: a mash up of different themes ranging from memoir to dark comedy to suspense to thriller to psychological mind f**k to cozy beach read – ok, there’s not too much that’s cozy about you (and we both are grateful for the boldness of your voice and plot), and yes, you can be read at the beach. But you get my point. Your main character is the lovable villainess you wanted her to be because you allowed me the time to writer in all of her dynamics. That didn’t happen overnight, and it wasn’t a candy rainbow stroll in the park either. Or Is your main character completely innocent? Maybe she’s batshit crazy… batshit crazy genius crazy! Or maybe she’s all three?? That’s up to your readers to decide. I’m curious to see which personality suit they pick her to wear by the end. You book, are therefore, also an experiment in perception. How cool is that?
  4. You taught me how to write. When I started scribbling the first words (that would later become you) in that burgundy notebook out of frustrations/ worry that I might never finish anything/sell anything, I was an okay writer. I wasn’t horrible. Okay, I was kind of horrible, and definitely nowhere near great. Back to topic: When I started crafting you in that notebook, I wasn’t concerned. I just wanted a mad soap opera of a story that made headline news look like child’s play. Since then, I’ve learned it was only through working on you that I was able to learn: how to bring plot into the mix at the right points, how to paint a scene (describe scenes, smells, colors, fabrics in exciting ways). You also taught me how to craft a metaphor like my life depended on it, how to perfect dialogue while stay away from dreaded use of adverbs in dialogue. You taught me about pacing, and scene closings, and chapter joiners, and staying on topic, and cutting the excess, and giving shared responsibility to other characters, and so much more. You schooled me. It hurt like hell. For the record, let me say that I took some big beatings on my brain noodle to get your teachings ingrained. But I am grateful for every lesson, knowing full well there are more to come. You taught me that I can always be a better writer, and for that, I am humbled and happy.
  5. You allowed me to share my work with others. Before I wrote you, I never wanted anyone to see anything I’d written. Yeah, yeah. You might disagree because I let a few friends see some stuff years ago. But to me that doesnt count because I knew their comments would err on the side of kindness. Showing your work to your friends that aren’t writers isn’t the same thing showing your work to strangers that are writers to get a “real” critique. You forced me to show you to complete strangers!!! It was scarier for me than it was for you, trust me. But they were praise worthy and kind!! I was shocked. You weren’t. You knew how good you were, and kept begging us to parade you for more eyes to see. The more we showed you off, the less fear we had in doing so. Now we are sending you to complete strangers called literary agents. We got to this point because after many months of you telling me you were ready for new eyes, I’m finally convinced you are an Entity that can stand on your own two feet. Yes, you need an editor to get even strong, but you’re almost there – in book form, standing on a shelf or lying on a table at Barnes and Noble – the ultimate physical test for any Book. And it’s All because you begged me to share you with others, even before you had all your chapters done. Book, you’re one brave, crazy, outspoken piece of work. That’s why I love you, and I hope others will love you too for who you are. But remember that wherever you go, and how many eyes see your pages, you’re still mine!
  6. With number 5 on the list comes number 6….You taught me how to handle negative feedback. Oh… It wasn’t easy. No one is saying I didn’t cry and contemplate throwing you in the trash (sorry, I look like a bad mom for admitting this, but it’s true. I can say this on WordPress because I didn’t do it. I also didn’t drive off the road, down into a ditch so I could kill myself instead of having to revise you and make you better. Yep, showing you to new eyes didn’t always bring glowing reviews. Your own grandfather (a harsh critic, trust me. If he didn’t like my grade school artwork, he told me.) said it was boring in parts, though he liked the MC (main character) and found you immensely quotable throughout. So we revised it accordingly, but we kept the essence of you intact. Another beta reader said you were too much to read because you were too weird and strange and edgy and graphic (which is why we love you).  I think he made it through three chapters before you overwhelmed him and he stopped reading. But, after I got done crying and contemplating laying you down for a dirt nap or killing myself… I realized that your critics hated you for the very reasons I loved you. You, Book, are sassy, wild, rugged, and say it like it is. You swear, and talk about abuse and jacked up families and drug use. You shine a light into the lint filled corners of trailer campers, and under beds that way too much has happened on. You don’t hold anything back. That’s going to be too much for some to handle. But you aren’t boring. You are relentless.
    It Took me awhile to figure out my reader that was uncomfortable with your approach said you “didn’t go anywhere”, (Which I misinterpreted to mean you were plot less and boring…) solely because he wanted you to move on and talk about something else, something nice, something more pleasant.
    Well guess what?? Too bad for them. You don’t give in until the topic is uncovered and dealt with. Bravo, Book! What they don’t know is that you’re not all guts and razor blades and pills and misery. You are charming, and funny, and vulnerable. You are kind and compassionate with your characters words. You don’t rush actions or force fake scenarios to get people in trailer parks where they don’t belong. You linger when you should. You remenisce and romance and wax lyrical on topics ranging from how we should deal with our memories to the best way to nuke a pot pie –  as only you do best. You cover the good and that bad in a way that you needed to – you did so to form a genuine persona/identity as the Book you are. You, Book,  are fully realized. I’m proud of you for that.
  7. You’re good. Yes, You need more work, and you’ll never be finished, and I pray there aren’t any more typos I didn’t catch yet. Or plot holes. And I hope you “work” as a thriller and a suspense and as a book club book in the upmarket fiction genre. Truth is, we both know there’s a few errors hiding in your 96,000 words. Don’t you worry, Book! Well find them and well bust them out, and get you polished for the public. I promise you that. I’ve got your back, Book. I will do what I have to do to get you seen and sold. You were there for me before I knew who the hell I was, and now that you’re whole, it’s my turn to hold up my end of the bargain, for both of us. Let the world see you and let the world get to know you and enjoy you. We’re in this together til THE END.

Sincerely and thank you!

Your devoted, appreciative author.


2015 Time Machine Blogging Challenge : Past = Perfect

Dearest Odyssians,

litebeing chronicles time machine challenge via eyesofodysseus

I am at a loss for words. Here is the challenge I’ve agreed to take on, courtesy of Linda Lite at Litebeing Chronicles – Time Machine Blogging Challenge.

Directions: Pick a time in your life that was critical to your development. You can go back or forwards in time. It can be real or imagined. After all, it is real if you imagine it!

Choose an idea or a skill or a value you hold dear in the present and infuse it into that time period.

Share your story of what happens to positively impact your life.

Truth: This blogging challenge has me challenged.

Truth: I have regrets (things about my past I’d like to go back and change). But sharing them here seems too personal (and more than a little selfish). Though I’ve maintained impeccable anonymity throughout my three years of blogging, revealing the lowest points of my life – the points I have any legit desire to go back in time and talk myself out of doing or handling differently to avert known results, takes impossible amounts of vulnerability and bravery that I do not have at this time. Forgive me. And forgive my poor punctuation.

Truth: I’m no axe murderer, or DUI drunk that killed a family of six in a minivan. I havent been to jail or ruined someone’s life, not even my own.

Truth: The regrets are still real.

Truth: While I have gotten over a major need to go back and change the past, I wish I could go back in time and talk to me when I was in my darkest, loneliest times, the times where I felt I had no purpose or validation or future.

Here’s what I would say to the me then:

You are a writer. You are a good writer. Maybe even a great writer. But you won’t know this until you spend years (your 20’s) trying to be a DJ, music composer, artist, painter, graphic designer, waitress, bartender, club hopper, and lay about. This run-around exercise – acting against ‘self’ and ‘destiny’ – will last seven years…or more…. hang in there. The sooner you start writing though, the sooner you can move on.

You are a writer. You are a good writer. Maybe even a great writer, but you won’t know this until you exit the terrible relationships you entered with people you had no true connection of future with because you were busy trying to find purpose in your life. They weren’t wife beaters, but you weren’t the next coming of Picasso either. Your true purpose is being a writer. And when you find it you will meet people as your true authentic self. And you will not be worried about inflating non existent accomplishments, or proving your worth against anyone else’s worth, because you will have, and know, your own. And though you may stumble upon this tendency to doubt your purpose and your power, and your essential self, now and again (as past bleeds into present), stay strong, and true. And love will meet you half way.

You are a writer. You are a good writer. Maybe even a great writer. So start writing now, no matter how much you don’t want to and keep at it. Don’t let those small poems and beginnings of short stories you didn’t believe were worth finishing sit in a top drawer next to old receipts and chapstick and become meaningless/unfinished fluff. Save them. Savour them. Share them. They are good enough for other people to see. And they are the beginnings of finding your true self and purpose.

You are a writer. You are a good writer. Maybe even a great writer. So start writing and sharing even when you are too scared to do it. Don’t hold back on the truth you feel in your heart. You were made to feel ‘different’ as you often do. Your one-of-a-kind experience of feeling alone in your views of the world are real. Your way of recounting it is unique, your voice is yours alone… But you must share it with other people so you can find magnificent connection and understanding across many seas, lands, and time zones. Then you will see that your unique voice resonates with others. This is a good and powerful thing, and does not diminish purpose or experience; it authenticates them. Do not be afraid to share what this ‘original’ voice is. Just be sure to keep it geniune. And keep writing it, so it grows stronger, more personal, more brazen, and more bold, and therefore, more relatable.

You are a good writer. Not a great writer. Not yet. Not until you sit down at the keyboard and sweat it out for hours everyday. Not until you give up all other notions of wealth and fame and fortune falling out of the sky to give you something to do and take your worries away, and not until you stop hiding and running away from the keyboard. The only way to get to that place you need to be as the writer you want to be is the put the work in. No shirking, no jiving, and no running. Just sitting at the keyboard and doing. And more doing and more sitting at the keyboard – Facing those crippling fears that keep you from pressing the send button, until you’ve sat so long you press send because you can’t sit and wait anymore. This will happen much sooner than you think. And more often, once it’s been done that first time, bad punctuation and all.

You are a good writer. People will read what you have to say. No ones going to be upset by your views, or hold them against you, or hate you. No one cares. And they probably won’t for years. And when they do, you’ll have made it. Which means more people are reading and relating to you than you ever could have imagined. How’s that for facing your fears and welcoming what the universe has in store?

You can be a great writer. But you must always knows that the advice I’m giving you now will never not be true. You will never feel as if your work is good enough. You will never be completely satisfied that anything is done. You will never know how good your writing is until you have the guts to share it. Then someone may tell you (but don’t count on it) and then that feeling of “I am a great writer” will disappear the next morning, or as soon as you sit down at the keyboard and challenge yourself to write again. It is a part of writing. It doesn’t always feel great because it is art, and there are no guidelines in art, and if you are being your authentic self the words you are sharing have never been shared before. And that ain’t easy.

Truth: Its happening right now. I don’t like what I’ve written here today. But i am sharing it. and maybe one day in the future I’ll look back and say, I wish I could go back to that October day in 2015 and say… press the send button, silly. It isn’t your best writing. and you didn’t share all of the events of the past that you’ve thought about fixing many a time. But maybe because you can have this conversation in your head about not being afraid to share this, you’ve made tremendous strides as a writer, and as a human trying to do her best on a strange planet spinning around a quadrant of the vast universe that poses many more exciting questions than it gives answer to. And maybe one of your friends who is purposed to be a writer, but is still afraid to be a writer, is reading this, and will say… I am a writer. and I better start writing today, despite my fears. Because it won’t always be easy, but it does get easier.

Thank you to all of my Odyssians for reading. and for understanding.

And thank you to Linda LIteBeing for allowing a valuable platform that delves into the darkest and dangerous parts of our psyches… facing the parts of our selves we wish we could change, but can’t. All we can do is move forward and ask what these six words have to do with it all anyway:


Was there ever any other way things could have gone? were we ever in control? are we now?  how could we ever know what was right or wrong, until we did it? did we not do our best at that time. will we not make mistakes again? Are we not better for having made them, and learning. For there is no advancement without loss or pain.

And none of us is privy to the future. and none, not even the gods, can change the past. It is solely up to us to think about our lives (and what we’ve done) in different ways. And hope that we prepare ourselves for the future with wiser and more forgiving eyes.

Hugs and many thank you’s,

O and OM.

****Please check out more Time Machine Challenges and follow tomorrow’s (October 10, 2015) addition by Tiramit.